FTP Reduction for Strength Work

For the next 4 months I’m starting an integrated all-around fitness program, that includes 3 gym/strength days (legs, upper, core), 3 alternate cardio sessions (rowing, stair climbing, running) in addition to my 200km long IRL ride on Saturdays, and my 5 TR AI KICKR sessions Mon-Fri.

My FTP is something like 265ish when I’m fresh. I’m 61. I manually set my FTP to 245 for my first Sweet Spot workout on Monday, to account for the fatigue/soreness from squats, deadlifts, lunges, etc, I did Sunday night. It seemed about right, maybe a little easy. No way I was ready to do this workout at full FTP.

But for my harder TR workout on Wednesday, I might be able to up that closer to my actual FTP. How do you account for non-TR workouts that affect readiness for a hard TR session? Modify FTP, or dial up/down the % on-the-fly, based on feel, as the workout progresses?


For sure you should leave your FTP alone, and choose a similar workout of a lower level or pick a more endurance type workout if you don’t feel like doing high intensities.

If you make the workout easier by lowering FTP or %, you end up spending time a grey area that stil makes you tired but is less productive.


Don’t change your FTP. While you focus on resistance training, change your cycling plan to focus on something like Traditional Base 1 (repeat 3 times for 12 weeks). I guess you could use TrainNow and pick the endurance option. We are about same age/FTP. I’m doing heavy resistance training during a 12-week “off/pre-season” and I accept that cycling fitness will drop a bit. After 3 months of focused resistance training, cycling fitness quickly bounces back to pre-lifting levels, and then higher, once I put lifting into maintenance mode.


Test in the same state you will conduct most of your training in. Agnostic of which test you select, if you’re going to do your TR sessions in a highly fatigued state from strength training, 5x TR sessions and a 200km ride, do your ramp test/20 min test/8 min test/60 min test… whatever… after a week or more of training, and then roll with that number.

Just don’t do it totally fresh off a recovery period and expect to be able to maintain it. Seems you’ve got that idea already, so that’s good!

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Thanks! Makes total sense.

Good idea! This being my first week of resistance/weight work, I’m more sore than normal… so I’ll wait a week or two to normalize the fatigue/soreness and then do an FTP test.

If just adding strength work I don’t change anything about my cycling, instead I schedule the strength work the same day as and after the hard bike sessions. E.g. hard bike session Tuesday morning, strength train Tuesday afternoon, then ~36 hours until my next hard bike session on Thursday morning which is long enough that there’s little to no residual fatigue. Once my body is accustomed to the strength work then I have quite a bit more flexibility in being able to schedule sessions closer together without impacting the quality of the bike work.

A word of caution in your case though - you’re talking about not just adding strength work but doubling your number of training sessions from 6 per week to 12 per week. That’s huge, particularly for an older athlete. If your cycling training is sacrosanct and you want to add this non-cycling load on top instead of replacing any bike sessions then I think you need to take things pretty cautiously. Who put together the non-cycling plan for you and are they aware of the cycling you’re doing and familiar with working with cyclists? I think if I was going from 6/week to 12/week the additional sessions would initially be really easy and short. Like the run would be 1 mile of jogging with low RPE. Maybe 30 minute strength sessions with fairly light loads and stopping each set well short of failure. Give that a few weeks to let the body adjust before starting to increase things gradually.

Hope you’re taking 4 months off afterwards - that is A LOT of work :grinning:

Whats the rationale behind the 4 month block?

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I have two 24-hour races on my calendar. A B-race called Natchez Trace 444 (444 miles) on 30-Sep. And then my A-race, the World Time Trail Championships, 4-Nov… a 24-hr non-drafting race.

So 4 months ends mid-Sep. That gives me 2 weeks of taper before Natchez. And then a month of final prep for my A-race. My thinking is that these four months will really help build strength and fitness. Then I focus on just cycling for that 6 weeks from mid Sep to early November.

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I think that’s a risky strategy. There is a reason coaches have cyclists focus on resistance training in the off-season. For those races, my resistance training strategy would be to focus on upper body / posterior chain in a way that would not interfere with cycling. Likely that would involve stuff like kettlebell swings, cable rows, face pulls, and renegade rows. And hip work, always be doing hip work.


I would agree. If we’re discussing a 4-5 min hill climb, then strength work would be an integral component. For 24 hour races, not so sure.

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